Sometimes it’s just plain difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. You toss and turn and your mind just keeps going and going and you’re having trouble trying to relax. Having a bedtime routine can help. Here are some activities you can do before bed to help you relax, fall asleep, and stay asleep.
Deep breathing not only increases oxygen to the brain, but it also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system producing a calming effect. It helps you feel more connected to your body, keeping your mind away from your worries.
You can do breathing exercises before you go to bed or while you are in bed to help you relax and fall asleep. Just breathe deeply through your nose.
Guided Imagery Meditation
Using guided imagery is another method of relaxing and falling asleep. This type of meditation takes your mind to a different place that is calm and peaceful. If you practice guided imagery on your own it would look something like this:
- Imagine you are in a quiet peaceful place (somewhere in nature is usually good) there is no one around you
- You look around and notice your surroundings- trees, water, birds (whatever you like)
- Now walk around- are you following a path? Can you feel the breeze? Are there animals?
- Stay in this quiet place until you are completely relaxed or fall asleep
You can also use an app for guided imagery. Many of the top apps have sleep meditations or bedtime stories (which is another form of guided imagery). Just set the timer in the app and enjoy your dreams!
Learning how to practice gratitude can enhance both your life and your sleep. Not only does practicing gratitude make you happier but it can help you relieve anxiety. In a study with 400 participants, practicing gratitude was linked to falling asleep faster and getting a better quality of sleep.
You can start practicing gratitude by creating a gratitude journal and writing 3 good things that you are grateful for during each day. You can also have a gratitude conversation with your partner or a friend right before bed.
When your mind is cluttered or you are troubled with anxiety or worry, it can be difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. By practicing some simple techniques, you can help yourself drift off to sleep in no time and wake up refreshed!